Sex + Relationships

Are You Ready to Be Friends With an Ex?

Breaking up is never easy, but remaining friends with your ex may be even harder. Now obviously there are varying reasons why people end their relationships. But whatever the reason, the heartbreaker’s common response is “let’s stay friends.” The question to ask yourself, whether you’re the dumper or the dumped, is to step back and think: is it really a good idea to remain friends, or am I just saying it to be nice to my – now – ex…?

Some people agree that it can be very tricky to actually stay friends, and it can even strain your future dating life by holding that friendship. Others feel that it is acceptable to remain friends under certain circumstances; basically, it’s all dependent on the exes’ personalities and the reasons for breaking up in the first place. For example, if your boyfriend cheated on you with your best friend, it’s doubtful you will even desire to remain friends with him (and likely not your best friend either!). However, if the reason was more along the lines of “she moved across the country,” then the reason for a friendship may be stronger.

For the record, here are a few rules on when it’s okay to stay friends with your guy:

1) The sexual chemistry is gone—even after a night of drinking, you wouldn’t sleep together.
2) Even when you were together, the relationship always felt more brother-sister than did hot-and-heavy.
3) You have no problem hearing about his new girlfriends and would consider setting him up with one of your friends.
4) He’s a great friend to everybody in his life. You know you can talk about anything with him.

Now a few words of advice from the professionals: It is possible to be “just friends” with an ex, especially if the relationship was mostly platonic anyway. “Even if a romance loses its spark, you can still enjoy each other’s company,” says Patricia Farrell, PhD., from Cosmopolitan magazine. Plus, he remembers why he fell in love with you and can give you an ego boost when you need it!

However, a problem: “If you’re both still single, you may not bother to meet other men because you’re so comfortable with the same safe guy,” says Elena Michaels, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist in California, also from Cosmopolitan magazine.

What do you think? Are you still friends with your ex? 

By Sarah Richheimer